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Easley Law Firm

Large Caseloads Often Mean Big Problems for Public Defenders and Their Clients

Darwyn L. Easley
Attorney and Counsellor at Law
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It’s no secret that the expertise of an attorney does not come cheap, and for that reason, many in need of criminal defense turn to public defenders for help. Although public defenders are very good at what they do and are some of the best attorneys in the nation, they are also very overworked.

In fact, on average, a public defender would need about 3,035 work hours—or a year-and-a-half—to do the amount of work he is typically assigned to in one year. The fact is, public defenders need more hours to work on cases than they are permitted.

Bigger Caseloads Often Mean Unhappy Clients

Public defenders do their best to give their clients as much time as possible and to get them the outcomes they deserve, but because of their busy schedules, they are usually overworked and often don’t have the time or resources to provide the services that the clients need. Because of the excessive amounts of cases they are assigned, public defenders are often forced to:

  • Turn down clients. Oftentimes, clients look to public defenders when they think they have no other options. This turns into a problem when the public defender has so many cases he has to turn away clients. In the last few years, some states have become so overwhelmed with clients they’ve had to start declining some, causing them to defend themselves—which often leads to jail time.
  • Encourage clients to plead guilty. In order to keep up with their caseloads, many public defenders encourage their clients to plead guilty, just so they can finish with one client and move on to the next. These decisions are often made only after meeting with new clients for a few minutes. The bottom line is, the lawyer is encouraging his client to do something that benefits him, not the defendant.

A Private Defense Attorney Will Work for You

Private defense attorneys give their clients all the time they need to listen, work out a plan, and talk to you about how they can help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Contact the Easley Law Firm today to talk to a lawyer about your situation and find out how we may be able to help you.

 

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